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 RSL Collects M7.8 Billion in tax revenue

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) has missed the tax collection target for 2022/2023 by 10 percent.

These developments were revealed by the Acting Commissioner-General Mosuoe Mapetla yesterday while tabling the revenue performance report.

RSL  has remitted M7.8 billion which is an increase from what was collected in the last reporting year wherein they collected  M7.3 billion. The M7.8 billion collected missed the target which is M8.7 billion. 

Whereas it has missed the target, it has surpassed the collections made in the previous financial year by over M500 million.

He said: “The Revenue collection outcome, which we are announcing this afternoon, comes against a backdrop of a highly volatile global economy due to the impact of COVID -19 and the ongoing Russia/Ukraine hostilities.

“The RSL’s combined annual revenue target for 2022/23 financial year was M 8, 699.78 billion and against this target, RSL remitted M 7, 833.57 billion and thus [missed] the target by M866.21 million (10%). It is remarkable that the RSL has demonstrated a spirit of resilience in the face of the economic constraints alluded to above, by growing revenue collection by M550.85 million (7.6%) as compared to last year’s performance.”

Mapetla highlighted that overall tax collection is made up of collections from Income tax, and value-added tax (VAT) and it excludes customs duties.

On income tax, he said the annual target was M4,864.14 billion and they have remitted M4,282.58 billion falling below the target of M581.56 which translates to -12 percent.

The income tax collections include the collections from Personal Income Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Withholding Tax, Fringe Benefits Tax, and Gaming Levy.

For the VAT, he said the annual target was M 3,835.68 billion and the remittances stand at M 3,550.99 billion. They have thus missed the target by M284.65 million which is 7 percent.

“The performance we are reporting on today translates to the revenue predicted against the bills that are still outstanding namely, Tax Administration Bill, Value Added Tax (VAT) Amendment Bill, Income Tax Amendment Bill, and the Tobacco and Alcohol Products Levy, which only got to be implemented in March this year. We remain hopeful that all the outstanding bills will be passed on time to enable growth in terms of revenue collection,” he said.

He also commended the compliance shown by taxpayers adding that they have observed an increase in “positive tax compliance behaviour”. We have also seen an increase in the number of people submitting their tax returns and making timely payments on those taxes.”

“Keep in mind that it is for the welfare of our country, Lesotho, and its people. As a result, I would want to implore those taxpayers whose compliance appears to be below par to make reparations and do the right thing. Paying taxes, especially freely, is the most patriotic thing any of us can do,” he appealed. 

Mapetla said RSL’s goal is to raise more income that will support the government’s plans.

The acting Commissioner-General has also launched the Income Tax Returns Filing Season.

The 1st of April marks the RSL tax calendar during which the taxpayers are required by law to submit income tax returns by the 30th of June.

Meanwhile the target tax collection for the financial year 2023/2024 is M10.6 billion.

Previously LRA and now RSL was established through Act No. 14 of 2001. It is amongst others charged with the mandate to “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the revenue collection…”

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